Monday, August 08, 2005

Thanks, Peter.

It's very late and I just heard online that Peter Jennings has passed away. I saw his broadcast the night he left ABC World News Tonight, and I certainly never dreamed that his battle with cancer would be so short.

For many years, Peter Jennings was my "go-to" guy for the news, especially before we had cable and 24-hour-CNN. And even after CNN took over my life, I still faithfully turned to ABC to see what Peter had to say. And I bought and pored over his "The Century" book a few years ago...Jeremy and I listened to the tapes on our road trip a year ago. He was my favorite of the "big three anchors"--so urbane and well-spoken, so careful and intelligent. I liked that he was unapologetically Canadian, and that sometimes you could see that part of him peeking through his comments...a hint of skepticism at the wacky Americans and their doings.

I don't watch the news as much as I used to. In fact, in the past four or five years, I've been living in an increasing state of denial about our country and the world...sort of the equivalent of sticking my fingers in my ears and singing "lalalala!" The news is bad, and the quality of news reporting is so much worse than it ever was. And now with Peter Jennings gone, one of the last old-time, reliable, intelligent voices is gone, too. TV news is all the worse for it.